We have had a wild couple of weeks, with little time to breath. This week was Leadership Conference where all the Zone Leaders and district leaders come to Lubumbashi for training. We all had to teach for four hours one of the days (Terri taught health and I taught about apartments and ordering materials and safety). Since Emanuel was sick (he normally is with me on teaching days), both Terri and I had to teach the full four hours in French—without help. Wow!
We went out to dinner with some visitors (Elder and Sister Bybee) who serve in Kinshasa and write articles for the Church in a blog–and were looking for news. We all had the opportunity to tease President McMullin (how often do you get to rib your boss?). We have been to this Indian restaurant a number of times, and our order always gets ‘lost in translation’. On previous attempts the blame has fallen on Terri, as she tries to help ‘re-explain’ to the waiters so they will get it right–and they never do! So after months of ribbing, Terri refuses to even try to order anything! Finally, the President decided he had to step-in and fix things–so he ordered that night.
To everyone’s surprise, everything came out perfectly…until about a half hour later when they began bringing out more and more ‘naan’ bread! We ordered twenty, but ended up with forty! So after all the praise we gave the President for finally getting it right…we all had the chance to turn on him and tease him for getting it so wrong!
We also had a combined missionary dinner and farewell dinner as the Wright’s would be leaving the next day.
One of the things all senior sisters want to do is to try to carry a young child on their backs, like the natives do. Before she left Sister Wright decided she just couldn’t leave without trying it. So here she is with ‘Joseph Smith’ on her back! (the woman that cleans the Mission home and office named her most recent child Joseph Smith… and that was before she and her family joined the Church!)
Elder Wright saying goodbye to all the missionaries
The missionaries singing to the Wright’s just before leaving for the airport.
The morning we took them to the airport, all the Elders stood in two lines in front of the office and sang “God be with you till we meet again.” We were all crying!
With Terri and I the only ones who drive now (with the Eastman’s gone and the Wright’s gone), we are always busy running back and forth to the airport and/or the bus station.
The McMullin’s and the two senior sisters have gone to Kolwezi for a District Conference and Zone Conference—leaving Terri and I “home alone”! It is weird being here without anyone around, after all of the hectic days with missionaries and conferences.
We are also helping with the area’s first ‘open house’. They have two new churches opening here in Lubumbashi: Mwembila and the new stake center, Kisanga. I suggested to Justin (the Stake President over Mwembila) that they ought to have an open house for all of their neighbors. Everyone has been watching this new building go up for over a year now, and I’m sure they all want to see inside! It will be a week from Saturday. They plan to invite local dignitaries to a ribbon cutting, then have an open house for everyone. I think it will be great—but it is a lot of work!
Well, I think we have a quite weekend, our first for a long time. Maybe we can catch-up on some sleep zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz